Visualizing Workflows


Teaching: 20 min
Exercises: 0 min
  • How can I quickly get an idea of what a workflow does?

  • Visualize an end-to-end simple experimentation pipeline.

  • Access workflows created by others.

A useful way of abstracting scientific explorations is by thinking in terms of a workflow. While .yml files are relatively easy to read, it is useful to have a way of quickly visualizing what a pipeline does. Popper provides the option of generating a graph depicting what a workflow does.

To generate a graph for our example pipeline, execute the following:

popper dot

The above generates a graph in .dot format. To visualize it, you can install the graphviz package and execute:

popper dot -f wf.yml | dot -T png -o wf.png

The above generates a wf.png file containing the workflow for this pipeline. Alternatively you can use the website to generate a graph by copy-pasting the output of the popper workflow command.

Key Points

  • The popper dot subcommand allows to visualize of a workflow.

  • Getting access to a workflow that someone else created is a matter of git-cloning a repository.